Arsenal extended their stay atop the Premier League standings with a 3-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend. Mikel Arteta’s wards have now won seven of eight games this season.
Meanwhile, acclaimed transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has said that Marseille were eager to sign William Saliba this summer. Elsewhere, the Gunners are planning a €40 million move for Ruben Neves.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Arsenal transfer stories as on October 3, 2022:
Marseille wanted to sign William Saliba this summer
Marseille were looking to sign William Saliba on a permanent deal this summer, according to Fabrizio Romano. The French defender spent the 2021-22 season on loan at the Ligue 1 giants and was the standout performer at the club. Marseille wanted him back at the Stade Velodrome for this campaign.
In his column for Caught Offside, Romano said that the French giants had a meeting with the player’s agent. However, the Italian added that it was impossible to negotiate with the Gunners, as they consider Saliba ‘untouchable’.
“Olympique Marseille had a direct meeting with Saliba’s agent in August, but then it was impossible to negotiate on the fee with Arsenal, as they considered William untouchable. It was not even a direct talk,” wrote Romano.
Romano added that the north London side will soon initiate contract talks with the Frenchman.
“There were French clubs tracking Saliba when he was at Saint-Etienne, but Arsenal have been great, as they trusted him since day one, and contract talks will take place at the right moment.”
Saliba has appeared eight times this season and has scored twice.
Gunners planning €40 million move for Ruben Neves
Arsenal are planning a €40 million move for Ruben Neves next year, according to The Express via Caught Offside. The Portuguese midfielder has been a long-term target for Arteta, and the Spaniard is now ready to go for the kill. Arteta failed to bring in a new midfielder in the summer, with Aston Villa rejecting a late approach for Douglas Luiz.
Bolstering the middle of the park remains a priority ahead of the January transfer window. Neves’ future is up in the air after Wolverhampton Wanderers’ recent struggles. The Gunners are looking to capitalise on the situation but will have to ward off competition from Barcelona for the player’s signature.
Takehiro Tomiyasu backed to fight for his place at Arsenal
Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has backed Takehiro Tomiyasu to fight for his place at Arsenal. The Japanese has dropped down the pecking order under Arteta this season, with Ben White preferred in the right-back role.
Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor pointed out that Arteta is reluctant to change a winning team.
“He has been injured, and sometimes when you’ve been injured, the manager is not going to put you straight back in. Ben White’s done OK at right-back; he’s not been outstanding, but he’s not been awful. If you’re a manager, if you’re winning games, then you’re not going to change anything,” said Agbonlahor.
“Maybe it’s a case of when Arsenal go through a run of defeats, he freshens up that defence. Tomiyasu then has to put in a good performance.”
Tomiyasu has appeared eight times for the Gunners this season, mostly from the bench.